The Frederickses take on Berlin

Berlin Travel Blog

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Brandenburg Tor
My mom (a german teacher) has lead tours of Germany every other summer for the past 18 years. In the last 4, they've finally worked it out so my dad can join her. This is how it came to be that, today, I'm sitting in the front of a tour bus, listening to Berlin facts from one parent and random jokes from the other. They make a lovely team.

Aside from mooching a hotel room and breakfast from my parents' tour group, I was able to slide right in on their day's activities as well. Normally I shy away from the big tour group experience. Not a big fan of walking in a pack down the sidewalk, following the waving flag of a leader who's yelling into a megaphone. But there was no megaphone to be found and it was only for one day.
mein vati
I think I can handle that.

First up for the day was a bike tour of Berlin. I was a little nervous considering I hadn't been on a bike since my childhood and getting hit by a car seemed like a crappy way to begin my trip. Luckily, riding a bike is not something you forget...or so they say. It also helps that Berlin is perhaps the flattest city on earth (if not slightly downhill, both ways) and there seems to be safety in numbers. So we made it the whole way without any casualties and just a few minor run-ins.

The tour was great. The company we used was Fat Tire. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with the beer company, so no freebies along the way. But our guide, Enda, made up for it in humor. I know it seems somewhat difficult to imagine Berlin's history of Nazis and Communism with a comical twist, but our lovely Canadian leader found a way.
meine mutti at the gedachtnis kirche
We rode for 4 hours, with a stop in a beer garden after two. We were able to cover ground of most major monuments and museums: Brandenburg Tor, Reichstag, the Dom, the Wall, etc, etc. It was a good way to get the general layout of the city and make mental notes on what I should revisit in my own time.

For the second half of the day, we went to the top of the Fernsehenturm (TV tower) for a panoramic view of the city, then headed over to the former West side for free time and shopping. I spent the hours roaming with mom, soaking up the bonding time. Then rejoined Dad and the rest of the group for dinner.

I'm very aware that this could be my last time in a hotel for a long time, or more importantly, the last time with familiar faces. Believe me, I had my minor freakout at the beginning of the day thinking about the reality of it all. Lucky for me, my mom was there to calm me. Tomorrow, however, will be a different story.
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Brandenburg Tor
Brandenburg Tor
mein vati
mein vati
meine mutti at the gedachtnis kirc…
meine mutti at the gedachtnis kir…
the group and the fernsehenturm
the group and the fernsehenturm
this took talent on both our parts
this took talent on both our parts
my view of Berlin
my view of Berlin
Berlin
photo by: CFD